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Santee Cooper increases spill rate at Santee Spillway


<p>File photo by Jim Huff</p>

File photo by Jim Huff

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. — Santee Cooper today is increasing its rate of spill from the Santee Spillway at the Santee Dam on Lake Marion to 97,000 cubic feet of water per second (cfs) — or approximately 725,000 gallons of water per second.

Prolonged rainfall throughout its watershed, combined with spilling operations from upstream reservoirs, has brought increased inflows to the Santee Cooper Lakes system. Santee Cooper initiated the current spill on Dec. 25, 2015, at a rate of 20,000 cfs and steadily increased the volume to 50,000 cfs by Dec. 28. Releases into the Santee River were brought to 75,000 cfs on Dec. 31.

The 3,400-foot Santee Spillway is part of 40 miles of dams and dikes that surround lakes Marion and Moultrie. Santee Cooper is releasing water through 14 of the Spillway's 62 gates. Spilling is a normal part of Santee Cooper’s hydroelectric operations in periods of escalated inflows into lakes Marion and Moultrie. Santee Cooper’s dams and dikes are secure.

The Santee Cooper Lakes are part of a 15,000 square-mile watershed that stretches into North Carolina. It's the second largest watershed east of the Mississippi River.

Spilling will continue until further notice, and developments will be noted on Santee Cooper’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Information will also be updated each business day on the lakes information line: 1-800-92LAKES.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina's largest power provider, the largest Green Power generator and the ultimate source of electricity for 2 million people across the state. Through its low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity and water services, and through innovative partnerships and initiatives that attract and retain industry and jobs, Santee Cooper powers South Carolina. To learn more, visit